Local judo competitors turned in a stellar heavy medal performance Saturday -- luckily they didn't have far to carry their collection.
Moose Javians collected 35 medals as the Koseikan Judo Club hosted its second annual tournament at SIAST Palliser Campus.
"Fighting for the second half of the year has been really consistant," said club member Jim Wiens. The performance comes on the heels of a 19-medal haul Feb. 8 at Swift Current.
More than 100 competitors from Alberta and Saskatchewan battled and when the mats were cleared, local competitors had claimed 11 gold, 12 silver and 12 bronze.
In the cadet boys' category, five locals finished first: Chris Gerry (23-kilogram class), Rylee Blacklock (36-kg), Vince Langevin (41 to 45-kg), Kelly Gower (54-kg) and Eli Jacobson (+59kg). Silvers came from Troy Busse (23-kg), Kayd Larsen (41 to 45-kg), and Mark Kerr (54-kg). Connor MacDonald added a bronze to complete Moose Jaw's sweep of the 23-kg class.
Cadet girls Stephanie Legault and Marisa Kerr claimed gold and silver, respectively in the 36 to 41-kg class.
Moose Jaw also swept the juvenile boys' 74-kg category thanks to Matthew Bespalko (gold), Steven Erickson (silver) and Eli Jacobson (bronze).
Dustin Large (59-kg) also struck gold for juvenile boys, while bronze medals came from Glen Cullen (40-kg), Travis Larsen (54-kg) and Bespalko (combined).
In the juvenile girls' event, Meaghen Cullen (52-kg) claimed gold, Danielle Dawm (48-kg) scored silver and Tiara Dawm (44-kg) and Leah Jacobson (52 to 61-kg) added bronze.
Meaghen Cullen also won gold in the junior women's 52-kg class, while Tiara Dawm placed second in her 44 to 48-kg class. Bronze medalists were Danielle Dawm (44 to 48-kg) and Leah Jacobson (56 to 61-kg).
Novice senior men Andy Abbott (60 to 65-kg) and Ryan Stich (78-kg) silvered, while Yancy Alexanderson (86 to 95-kg) claimed bronze.
For advanced senior men, Steve Hansen won his 60 to 65-kg class. Jeff Nelson (60 to 65-kg), Levor Guenther (78-kg) and Jim Wiens (86 to +95kg) earned silver. Vern MacDonald placed third in the 86 to +95kg class and Wiens added bronze in the men's open.
"We've been really lucky to have great coaching for the club," said Wiens. "This season we've had four black belts (instructing)."
That coaching includes 1996 Olympian Nancy Jewitt-Filteau, who has been training with the club for the past 2 1/2 years. The publicity of her acheivements has increased local interest in the sport, especially among youth, said Wiens.
"We're growing in numbers as well as in ability."
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald Feb 24, 1997